by: Jim Bradley Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Close to 200 jobs are moving to York County, which means York’s gain in Mecklenburg’s loss.
The company Britax is only moving about a mile from its current location, but that distance puts it right across the state line.
For the last 16 years, a company of 200 employees has operated just inside the North Carolina state line, but Thursday, it announced it had selected South Carolina for a major expansion.
Some people said the move means a major defeat for the city of Charlotte.
Charlotte has had more than its share of wins in recruiting new companies to the city, including Chiquita and Electrolux.
“We did look at a number of different sites in the area, both in North and South Carolina,” said Ken Wittenauer with Britax.
But Wittenauer said Britax, which makes car seats and strollers, will soon leave two buildings it leases in Charlotte near Carowinds for property in South Carolina.
The new site for Britax is only about 200 yards outside the city limits into York County, but that means Charlotte taxpayers are losing 200 jobs, payroll and business taxes and a brand new $26 million plant.
When City Councilman Warren Cooksey heard about the Britax announcement, all he could do is roll his eyes and wonder if Charlotte was losing its appeal.
“Another one. Great,” he said. “Apparently this company found something they like better across the border, and I regret losing them.”
As bad as the move may be for Charlotte, Britax said it could not ignore offers from York County and South Carolina, both of which offered financial incentives to lure the company across the border.
Now, York County could benefit from the planned Britax expansion.
“We’re predicting growth of up to 50 more employees by 2014,” Wittenauer said.
The South Carolina Governor’s Office would not say how much in incentives it offered.
The company is hoping to move into a brand new building in York County in about nine months.